TATCHA One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil

I have been talking about the TATCHA skincare line a lot in the recent months and it is because I am completely in love with them.  The line has had a big part in the way my skin is glowing recently.  I originally started out with the sampler kit but quickly finished up the serum and the oil cleanser…

Luckily I already had a full size serum to open up when I finished the original but when I realized I was running low on the cleanser I ordered the full size immediately.  The sample container I had was nice… It was a squeeze bottle that dispensed the product with no problems–not too fast and not too slow, but the full size bottle is absolutely fabulous.

Like all of the packaging of the TATCHA products this one comes encased in a faux wood patterned box and it opens up to a vivid blue/purple print.  The product itself is wrapped in a fancy paper that has extra information on the inside of the wrapping.

What it is:

A beautiful blend of camellia and rice bran oils. Melts away even waterproof makeup leaving skin fresh and pure.

Why it’s different:

Does not contain mineral oil. No double cleansing required.

Who it’s for:

All skin types. Non-irritating. Non-sensitizing. Dermatologist tested.

The full size is 5.1 oz and comes in the signature pearly white bottle.  The One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil in the full size has a pump and is extremely easy to dispense.  I usually take about 3 pumps and that gets all of my makeup (including mascara) completely off.  I don’t typically follow with a different cleanser.  I usually follow this step with the TATCHA Rice Enzyme Powders or a toner and then the TATCHA serum.  

This cleanser has completely weened me away from using a makeup-removing towelette in the evenings.  I have always been the lazy makeup remover but this is just one step and gets sooooo much more off.  Even when I was diligent in using makeup-removing wipes in the evenings I was still breaking out and had uneven skin… This product alone has helped me thoroughly cleanse my skin and my breakouts have diminished.  I have had a breakout problem my entire life and for me to tell you that it has been months since I have had a full-on breakout is nothing short of jaw-dropping.  
I know I am giving this product a lot of credit for the current AWESOME state of my skin, but I am not giving credit where credit isn’t due.  I have always been told that a regular skin regime (cleansing, toning, moisturizing) would be the key to perfect skin and I have always done those 3 aspects with no real results…  The only thing I really did was change my evening cleansing product and VOILA!  Skin that I couldn’t be more proud of.  
The TATCHA Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil retails at $48 for 5.1 fl oz of product at TATCHA.com.  If you try nothing else from the entire line, this is one product I highly recommend.  I have tried several different oil cleansers and this one is far more effective than the rest.  
*I purchased this product with my own money, affiliate links.

Khaki Ball Makeup + Special Announcement!

Hello everyone.  Some of you know that my husband recently made Chief in the Navy!  Exciting times…  Every year there is a Khaki Ball (which is a military ball for E7 and above in the Navy) and I wanted to share with you the makeup that I wore that evening!  I also have some really exciting news to share with you, so make sure to stick around until the end!

I basically did my everyday look but better for the occasion.  Seriously… I did everything I typically do but I did it very slowly and was careful to do things exactly like I wanted them.  I could typically do this exact look in about 10-15 minutes but I wanted my makeup to last all night and I wanted to look my best so I ended up taking around half an hour to 45 minutes on the look.

I had a haircut the morning of so my hair was particularly bouncy this day!  :D  I hot-rolled it to give it a little extra volume and flip at the ends.

I don’t have any pictures to show you of my dress and that makes me pretty sad.  There was supposed to be a photographer there the evening of to get a shot of me and my sailor together but there wasn’t… and by the time the ball was over I was tired and all worn out… you will know why in a minute! LOL

Products used for this look:
Giorgio Armani Face Fabric mixed with IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye 
Laura Mercier Loose Minerals in 2
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores
Rouge Bunny Rouge Orpheline
Too Faced Shadow Insurance
Laura Mercier Cream Eyeshadow in Platinum
Rouge Bunny Rouge Caress of Mink
Anastasia Beverly Hills Want You To Want Me Palette for the blending shades
Smashbox Cream Eyeliner in Onyx for wing
RevitaLash Raven eyeliner for tightline and waterline
It Cosmetics Hello Lashes
Giorgio Armani Beige 102
Now for the announcement!
I am pregnant!  This is the picture I posted to my personal Facebook wall (and twitter and Instagram feeds) earlier this week!  Really exciting and definitely unexpected!  I already have a 6 year old (soon to be 7 in a couple months) and figured I would have another eventually but it definitely took me by surprise!  I still haven’t gotten sonograms or anything done, so as those get in my possession expect that I will share them with you or possibly even do a YouTube video.  Who kows!  :D
 I haven’t felt my best for the last couple of weeks–which is why my posts haven’t been so plentiful lately.  I have been extremely tired and had no drive to do anything except work, be a mommy, and go to sleep.   I am sorry for neglecting you guys here.  Expect that I may be extremely exhausted for the next couple of months!  I am apologizing in advance!   Thank you to those of you that comment and support me and give me the drive to keep posting reviews and such!  You remind me why I do this–I do it for YOU!  

Reviva Labs Firming Eye Serum Review and Giveaway

I have said it over and over, but I am an eye cream/treatment fanatic.  I love getting samples of eye creams or serums and I use them up until the last drop.  I have found one that I am in love with and it is the Reviva Labs Firming Eye Serum.

Technically, it’s formal name is the DMAE & Alpha Lipoic Acid & Vitamin C Ester Firming Eye Serum.  See why I shortened it a bit in my intro? :)
The site reads:
“Reduce the appearance of eye-area wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles as you protect against future signs of aging. Our new Firming Eye Serum, with its special base and precise blending, penetrates the thin skin around eyes for quick absorption.”

The ingredients are listed on the back of the bottle, and I am not sure if most people that read my reviews understand how the specifics on reading an ingredient list but the substances listed first is what it contains the most of and the last ingredient listed is the one it contains the least of–all others are in order as well.  Well the very first thing listed is Demineralized Spring Water and then Olive Oil… two very moisturizing items!  And what I love is that I can pronounce those without any problems!  

The label also reads that you should use morning and/or night, under makeup or alone.  What I typically do is take a small dot on my finger and apply to my under eyes.  What is left over I get the corners of my eyes (inner and outer) and the lid as well.

One thing I adore about serums vs. creams is the absorption rate.  Before this product I have never actually tried an eye SERUM.  Creams tend to sit on top of the skin and moisturize the top layer but this product really gets down into your skin and penetrates several more layers than just the top.  It sinks in quickly and leaves my eye area moisturized and soothed… Odd choice of words I know but the word soothing needed to be included in some way because that is the best way to describe this product.  To put it plainly: I love it.
Another factor that makes this eye serum so spectacular is that it comes in a sanitary bottle with a pump.  Most eye serums come in little pots that you have to dip your finger into.  I am very picky about this type of thing… I usually wash my hands about 10 times during a regular makeup application process but I don’t like feeling that I HAVE to!  The pump takes away all of my worries with germs and for that I am thankful.
Specifics on the ingredients really quickly:
DMAE, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and the Wheat Protein are included in the ingredients to firm the thin skin as well as reduce puffiness.  The Vitamin C that is in this product helps to reduce the darkness that sometimes occurs under the eye.  I have said many times that I don’t have horrible dark circles but I have noticed that since using this product, I almost never notice any circles at all.  

I have been testing this product now for over a month.  I have been meaning to get this review and GIVEAWAY up for a couple of weeks now but I am glad that I had a chance to thoroughly review this so that I could give you actual results. 
The Reviva Labs Firming Eye Serum retails for $19 for an entire 1 fl. oz. of product.  WOAH!  Large amount of eye cream for such a great price.  Most eye creams come in a tiny little pot and this one comes in the size of a regular facial moisturizer!  Check out Reviva Labs on Facebook and Twitter.
For the giveaway.  It is open to US residents only and I ask that you be 18+ years old OR have your parent’s permission to give your address PREVIOUS to entering the giveaway.  I will collect the winner’s address and the company is going to send you the prize.  As for the prizes, this is what one lucky winner will receive:
Reviva Labs Seaweed Soap (review here)
Reviva Labs Makeup Primer (review here)
Reviva Labs Firming Eye Serum (reviewed above)
I am so pleased to give the opportunity to one of you to win 3 of my favorite products.  They are each wonderful products and I truly enjoy all 3.  I have since repurchased 2 other bars of the Seaweed Soap and can never imagine my life without it.  As for the other two products, you get so much in one bottle you wont have to repurchase for some time.  To win these items follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget.  The contest will run for a little over 3 weeks.  Thanks for all of your support and participation. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*The product(s) mentioned in this post were provided for editorial consideration.  All opinions are my own.  All products for the giveaway are provided by PR for the brand.

GLOSSYBOX September 2012 Review and Giveaway

I have done several Glossybox (US version) reviews now, and I am excited to show you the contents of the September 2012 box.  I also have a giveaway for another September box which I will tell you about more at the end of the post.
For those of you that don’t know Glossybox is a monthly subscription service that delivers 4-6 products (full size and/or samples) to your door every month.  It costs $21 a month but the more you buy at once the less you pay per month.
The theme of this box is Fall Forward.  This month is basically a nice prepper for the upcoming season.  It throws in some new products and formulas as well as mixing in some beauty trends.  
The box is packaged so beautifully as always.  I like to say that it is like opening a monthly present to yourself.
When you flip the card you will see a listing of all the products included and how much they cost in full size. 

The products seemed to be mostly full sized products this month.  One of the products I recognized immediately because I already own it (and have already reviewed it here) and the others seemed very interesting.

The Kryolan for Glossybox lipstick was the first thing I reached for.  It is a creamy, long lasting lipstick enriched with Vitamin E.  It helps stimulate and hydrate your lips.  It is a beautiful, muted, glossy pink and it is very comfortable on the lips.

I applied it immediately and fell in love.  It is a perfect nude-ish-pink and I can see myself wearing this endlessly.  This is a full size and valued at $14.
The next product I reached for is the OC 8 Professional Mattifying Gel.  The full size is included in this box so it has a value of $30.00.   I have never heard of this brand so I am interested in trying this out to see how it wears.  I do have oily skin so I will be able to put this baby to the test.

You may recognize the Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream as being one that I have hauled/reviewed previously.  I am excited to receive it in a shade that I did not previously own.  The review for this product is here.  I do look forward to trying the lighter shade when my tan wears away and getting that up for you.

The last two products are the GKHAIR Balancing Shampoo and Conditioner.  Each bottle retails for $20 in full size and this is about 1/3-1/2 of the full size.  I can’t locate a size on the bottle.  This says it is a 
“Hair Taming Stystem” so I am looking forward to testing it out.

Now for the giveaway!  This giveaway will be open to US residents only.  You must be 18 years or older or have your parents permission to give out your address.  The prize will be shipped directly from the company but I will relay the information to them.  Now just follow the prompts in the widget below and good luck! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*The products mentioned above were provided for editorial consideration.  All opinions are my own.  The giveaway is sponsored by the brand.

REVIEW: Besame Brightening Violet Powder

I have recently had the extreme pleasure of testing out the Besame Brightening Violet Powder.  It is a multi-tasking powder and I am excited to share with you my opinion.

Here is how Besame Cosmetics describes it:
“Brightening Violet Powder is a translucent loose powder that adds just a hint of brightness for an instant lift to any complexion. Sets make-up beautifully and leaves a soft matte finish. The powder does not contain shimmers, but brightens because of the unique violet hue in this special formula. Deliciously fragrant, it suits any skin tone. Wear alone, over foundation or to add a lightness to tired eyes and under eye circles.”

The packaging is wonderfully reminiscent of a vintage powder compact on the outside and extremely modern, even ground-breaking, on the inside.  The biggest gripe I have about loose powders is the mess that is created due to the room left between the stopper and the lid.  Soooo much product can get through the holes and it tends to create a huge mess which hinders many into the awesome-ness that is loose powder.  This compact has a flip top lid that lays flush over the holes and prevents any excess product from getting through. 

The powder looks slightly violet tinted in the sifter jar but on my skin it appears like any other white/translucent powder.  The violet tint isn’t just a gimmick, it really wakes your face up and makes any sallowness that was there previously disappear.  I specifically like this powder for my under-eye area.  After I use a concealer I set it with this powder to give me a wide-awake appearance.
Also, the scent of this amazing powder is great.  It is uplifting.  It reminds me of a mixture of the Guerlain Meteorites and the Physician’s Formula Happy Booster Blushes.  So not only is this brightening your complexion, it is brightening your spirits.

The swatch above is a thick swipe of product.  I used a fluffy brush and blended it into my hand and, as you can see below, it picked the color up a notch and diffused imperfections.  It also didn’t leave behind any noticeable color or shimmer.  The formula is matte so it really just makes you skin look like fresh, oil-free skin.  How great is that?

Besame Brightening Violet Powder retails for $22 on besamecosmetics.com.  I am not sure of any locations you can purchase the fabulous line in person, but the more I try the more I want.  I give this powder 2 thumbs up and urge anyone interested to definitely give it a try.  :)  Have you ever tried anything from Besame Cosmetics?  If so, let me know what you thought of it in the comments below.  

Thank You Giveaway Winner

Hello!  My Thank You Giveaway ended recently and I contacted two different people in reference to winning the giveaway without any response.  I am now announcing a third winner.  I am reducing the response time to 24 hours so if I don’t get a response on this winner by this time tomorrow I am picking another one.  I am sorry for the inconvenience to those that entered that are awaiting a winner.  Thank you for your patience!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

REVIEW: Thermal-Aid 100% Natural Heating and Cooling Pack

I usually talk about skin care, cosmetics, or even hair care lately; I wanted to bring something a little different to you today.  Sometimes we are achy or just don’t feel our best.  If we don’t feel good then we aren’t exuding the confidence we have and we may not even feel beautiful.  I have found something to help our bodies feel beautiful, which in turn will allow our natural beauty and confidence to shine through; it is the Thermal-Aid 100% Natural Heating and Cooling Pack.

Lots of things get us down in our daily lives: exercising, headaches, fevers, sunburns, back pack, accidents… LIFE!  A lot of the times we take a pain reliever and lie down and try to forget about it.  Sometimes we need actual temperature therapy and don’t ever realize it.  The Thermal-Aid Heating and Cooling Pack can aid in any sort of temperature relief you are looking for.
Depending on your needs it can be heated in the microwave for cooled in the freezer.

And what is even better is that it is all natural.  You don’t have to worry about if there are any unstable chemicals in a gel pack, you don’t have to worry about heating something radio-active, and you don’t have to worry about an electronic heating pad catching fire while you are resting.  
The pack consists of all natural corn product that has gone through a process that removes any germs, fungus, etc.  The substance actually holds temperatures for a longer amount of time and has a little weight so it can apply the pressure that is needed to penetrate the temperature therapy into the skin.

Not only is it healthy enough for a man or woman, but babies and pets are welcomed to use this.  

It is packaged very hygienically, packed inside of the box and also inside of a plastic wrapper.

And the pack itself is broken into 3 sections.  I while back I was in a major accident and tore my ACL completely in two and sprained my ankle.  I would have loved this pack back then because it has the weight and the sectioning to secure over my leg.  It would have ensured that all of my knee was getting the temperature therapy it needed.

The Thermal-Aid 100% Natural Heating and Cooling Pack gets two thumbs up from me.  I love seeing innovations in everyday products, especially when it is better for the environment and better for you.  Recently my husband used this after a rigorous 6 weeks of “additional military training” and he was sure happy to have the relief it provided.
Have you used an electronic heating pad ever?  When you did, were you nervous about having something like that against your skin?  How would you use a product like this in your everyday life!  :)  Let me know in the comments below.

*The product mentioned in this post was provided for editorial consideration.  All opinions are my own.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Giveaway

You all know that I am a fan of Rouge Bunny Rouge Cosmetics.  I own several items from the brand and enjoy them all very much.  There is a giveaway going on right now on their Facebook page and I wanted to let you know about it.!

If you have never had the pleasure of trying the brand before, it is a must.  I have lots of different eyeshadows like Abyssinian Catbird, Delicate Hummingbird, Angelic Cockatiels, and Bejewelled Skylark.  I also have a pigment called Caress of Mink, a blush named Orphelline, and the liquid illuminator called Sea of Nectar and more (click link to see one of my past posts on Rouge Bunny Rouge).  Lots of great products in the brand.  The link to their Facebook giveaway is here.  They also have recently joined twitter, here is the link
Hope you take part in the giveaway!
*Info for the giveaway provided by PR for the brand.  All opinions my own.

Laura Geller Double Dipped Lipstick in Caribbean Kiss

I am so intrigued when I see something new and exciting.  I love seeing the many innovations that my favorite artists or brands think up and this one is no different.  Laura Geller has created a duo sided lipstick; it is called a Double Dipped Lipstick and the shade I have for you is Caribbean Kiss.

How versatile is this?  I for one have way to many lipsticks shoved in my bag and with this one product I could be just fine.  There is a light mauve-y-pink and a warm bronze-y shade.  You could wear one or the other or mix them together to create something unique.  

I love that both shades have a sheen, although the bronze does seem to have a bit of a frosty finish.  The texture is nice, it provides a nice opaque shade of color and doesn’t dry out your lips.

The swatch below has the pink side on my top lip and the bronze side on my bottom lip.

I am a big fan of this lipstick and urge the lovely Laura Geller to keep on coming up with these great items.  Laura Geller Double Dipped Lipsticks retail for $17.50 and can be found on QVC.
What is your favorite beauty innovation?  Let me know in the comments below!

Shu Uemura Sale

I am a huge fan of Shu Uemura.  Everything I have tried thus far is simply amazing and I am nowhere near close to having tried everything from the brand.  I am excited to let you know that there is a 15% OFF + FREE SHIPPING event going on right now.  
There is no minimum to spend and to get the discount and the free shipping you have to go to shuuemura-usa.com and enter the code SHUSHU4AFF.  The sale event only goes until 9/21/2012 so I wouldn’t dawdle.  Get some goodies for a discount while you can!
*The images from the pictures are by Shu Uemura and I am making use of affiliate links.